I was impressed when I saw Bill Frost’s article on how to intonate a guitar [“The Gift of Survival,” Nov. 19, City Weekly] but as I read, I became puzzled and then disappointed.
First off, Mr. Frost wrote, “Tune to standard tuning EADGB#E.” There is no such thing as B#. That is a C. Just like there is no E#, that is F. Secondly, he implies that the intonation process doesn’t work on a seven-string, but it does. I suspect that what the problem really was that he didn’t know that the lowest string is tuned to B, and the other six the same as a regular guitar.
Also, when he is describing the intonation process, he writes, “If the tone registers sharp, move the bridge saddle back, away from the neck. If sharp, move saddle forward toward the neck.” He just invalidated the whole article with that major blunder. I expect a little more professionalism.
Also, I was very offended by his disparaging of some of the best players of our time. He implies Eddie Van Halen is a pussy because he chooses light strings and incompetent because he plays his strings too low. Then, he calls Joe Satriani’s work with Chickenfoot banal. I think it is safe to say that these fine guitarists know the difference between sharp and flat, and I challenge Frost to play “Hot for Teacher” or “Soap on a Rope.” I suspect he will not even come close.
Finally, he says that it is “pointless and impossible … differentiating the guitarists in Slayer.” This also illustrates his lack of competency. I have no trouble at all distinguishing whether it is Kerry King or Jeff Hanaman; they are very different. Jeff is minor dominant and speed orientated, while King loves 13ths.
If Frost would like to try me in a jam, I would be happy to meet him at Uncle Bart’s on jam night and chop his head.
Salt Lake City
Editor’s note: In Bill Frost’s defense, the “B#” was a copy-editing error.